My mother started teaching me violin when I was about 3 years old. I didn’t stick with it, but it led to other things, piano in 1st grade, trumpet in 3rd grade, guitar in 7th grade and others. One of my first memories is of my father playing hymns on the piano as we were going to bed. I grew up with music. Not so much listening to it, although we did have it playing in the background a lot, but rather I grew up learning music as a creative expression. It was grounding in my understanding of who God is and a way to interact with Him. My first musical participation at church was singing Noche De Paz (Silent Night), when I was six or seven. I joined the worship team playing the trumpet when I was in middle school and the story of beginning to play guitar and lead worship in high school is a foundational story in my relationship with God. And even now, two events in the last month have been such joy filled events that they feel like stand out moments for me in my creative journey with God.
The first was Art Night in January. Figuring out how art night should work has been a journey for me. We’ve toyed with a lot of different formats, but this year my longing has been to get back to the root of what I hoped for when we first started two years ago. I had been thinking a lot at the time about listening to music in pubs in Ireland, talking to the musicians, and experiencing the community and the familiar atmosphere of those spaces. My hope was a similar atmosphere of energy, creativity, and community. So I planned this January to bring the visual arts back in the same room with the musicians, to allow a sharing of creative space and hopefully bring a shared energy to both endeavors. Going in to it I was apprehensive, partly because I was longing for an outcome that I didn’t really have control over, and partly because I had found out right before that a few people I was hoping would come were not going to come. But just as he has so many times before, God met me, this time in the form of Matt, who was standing in the parking lot when I pulled up, wearing a sousaphone! It was so fun and just got better from there. We had musicians playing new instruments and exploring music creatively. We had visual arts happening a few feet away. We even had some of the younger attendees write and perform a play. I walked away that evening having experience joy in my relationship with God because of this beautiful creative community of people. Which brings me back to the second event.
On Sunday evening I got to be in the band with my mom. She played the violin and I played the guitar and Mike played drums. I have so many memories of my mom playing the violin and to get to join her in playing music, a foundational piece of my relationship with God that she and my dad helped instill in me, brought me so much joy. I am very thankful. I am also excited for the next time we get to play together. I am excited for the next Art Night (February 28th). I am excited for a community that values and embraces creativity as a pursuit of the Creative God.